HomeBussinessBilateral trade between Italy and India expected to continue surging

Bilateral trade between Italy and India expected to continue surging


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Trade between India and Italy is expected to surge 10-15% each year for the next 4-5 years, according to Claudio Maffioletti, chief executive officer of the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We are seeing that the number and the level of interest towards India from Italian companies and towards Italy from Indian companies is increasing,” he told DH during the inauguration of the Chamber’s new office in Bengaluru.

Trade between the countries reached a peak of 15 billion euros in 2022, out of which 10 billion euros were contributed by Indian exports to Italy and the remaining by imports from Italy, Maffioletti pointed out, adding that the latter slightly increased in 2023.

“As far as cross border investments are concerned, in January this year, there were more than 780 Italian companies present in India. It’s a substantial presence out of which a good 40-45% have manufacturing plants in India,” the executive said. Italian companies have invested over $18 billion in the country since 2014, as per him.

On the other hand, around 100-120 Indian companies currently have a presence in the Mediterranean country, mainly into traditional heavy industry sectors like metals and steel. However, this has lately expanded to pharma, healthcare and health science, along with automotive and auto components, as per Maffioletti, who expects a substantial increase in investments on both sides.

While the Chamber has been present in the city since 2013, the new office space (which is housed in the same premises as the Consulate General of Italy in Bengaluru) signifies the emergence of the southern region as a new business frontier, Maffioletti said. Out of the 780 Italian companies present in the country, around 20-25% are in this region.

The region, as a technology services stronghold, can contribute to advancing technology in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for a chunk of Italy’s investments in India.

“The Chamber’s offices in Bangalore will need to look into advanced manufacturing not only in terms of precision machinery for the aerospace industry, where Bangalore is one of the global hubs, but also, technology applied to manufacturing,” he said.

Despite challenges like pricing and reengineering for the local market, Maffioletti expects the trade relationship between the countries to continue growing, as the purchasing power of the Indian population grows and can indulge in Italian products that are noted for their high quality and price tags.

From an industrial standpoint, human resource and skilling issues are also being ironed out. The two countries will enter into a worker’s migration and mobility agreement in April, which is the first of its kind Italy has brokered with another country to address the need for skilled labourers, Alfonso Tagliaferri, Consul General of Italy in Bengaluru said.

The agreement is focused on fostering migration to the country of both students and workers through eased visa facilities, skilling for young professionals and students. The Consul General noted that Italy has the biggest Indian immigrant population in the European Union, the country wants more people to move there and contribute to the health, construction and hospitality sectors, among others.

(Published 31 March 2024, 22:02 IST)

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